Scott Bentley, NPS River Raisin Battle Field, Superintendent
Scott J. Bentley is the first Superintendent of River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe, Mich. Bentley, a 20 plus year National Park Service (NPS) veteran, started at the Battlefield January 16, 2011 after transferring from San Antonio Missions National Historical Park where he was the Superintendent.
Bentley’s NPS career has been broad and varied, both professionally and geographically. Fulfilling a childhood dream, he joined the NPS in 1991 as a Park Ranger at Yellowstone National Park. Following Yellowstone, Bentley served as a Park Ranger at San Antonio Missions NHP, as a Supervisory Park Ranger at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and as the Chief of Operations for the opening of Oklahoma City National Memorial (NM) before becoming a Superintendent. In Oklahoma City, Bentley was instrumental in shaping an unprecedented partnership at the Oklahoma City NM and implementing startup operations for this world class memorial.
Following Oklahoma City NM, Bentley served as the Superintendent of George Washington Carver National Monument (NM) in Diamond, Missouri. At the NM he worked with the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands to fully evaluate the short- and long-term effectiveness of park interpretive techniques, and guided the development of numerous interactive interpretive exhibits and the construction of a new visitor education center while simultaneously completing final land acquisition and environmental remediation necessary to complete the national monument.
From the NM, Bentley accepted the Superintendence of Assateague Island National Seashore (NS) along the coasts of Maryland and Virginia. At Assateague Island, he worked again with the Eppley Institute to conduct an in-depth visitor survey to determine the motivations, expectations, interests, and needs of visitors. Using the research and in-depth scientific date on the Island, Bentley lead a the complete redevelopment of the north end of the Island, guided a joint general management planning process with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, designed and secured funding for a new visitor center and visitor center exhibits, and secured funding to bring new nutrient removal technology to the Island’s waste water treatment facility to protect the Maryland coastal bays. Bentley also served on a detail to the Northeast Regional Office of the NPS to assist with major issues facing the Region and on a detail in Washington D.C. as a special assistant to the NPS Director responsible for the kick-off of the NPS Centennial and other special service-wide projects.
Following his assignments at Assateague Island, Bentley returned to San Antonio Missions National Historical Park as the Superintendent. In San Antonio, Bentley oversaw efforts to attain recognition of the Missions as a World Heritage Site (achieved by the Park and partners in 2015) and to expand the parks boundary to protect important historic assets, the development of programs to reach and engage new diverse audiences, the implementation of new historic preservation monitoring using LIDAR technology in partnership with CyArk, resolved a decade old struggle to restore and reopen the San Juan Acequia to provide period demonstration farming (achieved by the Park and partners in 2011) and oversaw NPS components of a $300 million partnership project to restore and reconnect the San Antonio River to the historic Missions (opened in 2014).
A Hillsdale, Michigan, native, Bentley graduated magna cum laude from Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice. He met his wife Maryne while they were both working for the NPS in Yellowstone National Park. The Bentley’s have a passion for giving back to their community through an assortment of volunteer opportunities. The Bentley’s have two children, Joshua who is married to Leah and lives in Texas with the Bentley’s first grandson Hayden and Andrew who lives in Michigan. Spending time doing a variety of outdoor recreational activities with his family and helping others tops Scott’s list of the best ways to spend his free time.
Bentley serves and has served on numerous local, state and national taskforces and Boards of Directors and has received numerous Special Achievement Awards and recognition for his contributions to achieving the mission of the NPS and service to his communities and country including among many the Hidalgo de San Antonio de Bexar, a National Accessibility Award, Federal Employee of the Year Award, and the national Andrew Clark Hecht Memorial Public Safety Achievement Award.
About the National Park Service: 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help protect the Nations’ special places, preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov. -NPS-